New law aims to curb underage party bus drinking
BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- The new year brings a new law that could affect the way some young people celebrate. It's a law aimed at underage drinking on party buses.
The new law came about after a 19-year-old from Burlingame was killed two years ago, driving home after drinking on a party bus.
Then Assemblyman and now State Senator Jerry Hill named the bill for the teenager, Brett Studebaker. Hill says the new law will hold the party bus driver responsible for underage drinking.
"The drivers now of buses, if they see or condone or ignore alcohol being consumed by minors on the bus, they will be subject to a misdemeanor similar to what limousine drivers are today," Senator Hill said.
Another deadly party bus incident occurred earlier this year. A 25-year-old Santa Cruz woman was killed after she and a minor fell out of a party bus. The victim died after being run over on Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Passengers on the bus had been drinking.
The new law also requires a chaperone 25 years or older if minors are party bus passengers to stop underage drinking. However, the CHP's role in enforcement is limited.
"If we stop them for any moving violation or mechanical violation, then that's when we'd be able to enforce that law," CHP Officer D.J. Sarabia said. When asked about spot checks, he answered, "Not sure if that's going to be on the table right now. We haven't gotten any direction from upper management, but that's a possibility."
Senator Hill believes the operators of party buses won't be in business long if they don't follow the new law.
"If they violate this, their license will be suspended," Senator Hill said. "It can be revoked so they can no longer have party buses, number one. And number two, they could no longer have their bus business that they have today. So the sanctions and penalties are severe."
Party bus drivers could be hit with a $2,000 fine if they don't comply with the law. They also will be responsible for verifying the age of anyone under the age of 21.
burlingame, santa cruz, santa cruz mountains, highway 17, sacramento, alcohol, laws, new year's eve, DUI, crash, CHP, peninsula news, david louie
- Man suspected of shooting SF police officer arrested
- Pedestrian fatally struck by SUV on NB Highway 880
- PM: Won't budge '1 centimeter' from Ukrainian land
- Missing 11-year-old boy Bryan Lazo found
- All lanes of I-880 in Oakland cleared after fatal crash 43 min ago
- Immigration detainees continue hunger strike
- Teenage boy killed trying to walk across Highway 85
- Tucson courting car maker Tesla for 6,500 jobs
- Wolff: Temporary baseball stadium for A's possible
- '300' sequel rules box office with $45.1M debut
- Toddler uses FaceTime to save mom after dog attack
- Thousands audition for Wheel of Fortune in NorCal 32 min ago
- weather: Bay Area weather forecast for Sunday
- roundup: Fatal bar shooting; Utility truck thefts
- Little progress made in search for missing...
46 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos